Monday, January 07, 2008

The Wire: North Park

I’ve long awaited the CSI spin-off that takes the idea a step too far, CSI: Omaha. With that said, I’ve been watching HBO’s The Wire on DVD over the last month or so – I’m in season three right now – and I’ve got a great idea for a follow-up when the series ends after the current (fifth) season. If you haven’t watched the show then the whole entry is for naught…

One of the boys has been playing a few more video games than allowed by the North Park Dr. Police Department (NPDPD or NPD2). It’s not purely illegal activity but there are limits put forth by the Lieutenant, we’ll call her “X”: number of hours per week, location of play (only at our place), timers, etc. On Saturday night I was inadvertently drawn into criminal activity as G. relayed all kinds of Mario Bros. stunts that occurred during his afternoon out in the 4th St. neighborhood. I paused, like Det. Jimmy McNulty, and then let him know that he’d just incriminated himself to a peace agent. Suddenly there was a hitch in his voice, a sideways glance, a quick admission of guilt coming over his face. I tell him he’ll get another chance; that I’ll let him walk away from the street corner this one time – free and clear, don’t come back here and let me see you loitering. Call it positive policing. I turn my unmarked car around and head off to the west side. Of course, the next morning I feel a little sleazy letting it go and I know that the Lt. may not be happy with my inexperienced move so I knock on her office door, give her the straight dope, and let her do as she sees fit. Not long after this talk she ends up on the line with H. who’s out on undercover assignment in the Midwest. H. is basically given immunity by the state’s attorney so he cooperates and give us our big break. He spills the inner workings on all targets in the game playing scam: most of the adults don’t actually know what’s going on or who’s playing what, sometimes his partner in crime disappears and ‘may be’ working another corner – though it’s only circumstantial, and that if she needs the double truth she’ll need to hook up with someone we’ll call Oscar. Oscar is the Stringer Bell of this operation. He stays clean, he knows everything that happens on the corner, and he’ll answer your questions as a matter of course – you won’t get him on any cover up. When we get home we put every kid’s picture up on a bulletin board, we use yarn to link the organization together, and we add 3 x 5 cards with descriptions. Now we’re just waiting for Lester and Roland to sort the intel.

Unfortunately for the ‘target’ there was a raid yesterday afternoon shortly after the opening of the investigation. During a ‘walk’ by the Lt. and her state’s attorney they happened into the target area (with shouts of "Five Oh!, Five Oh!" echoing off the buildings), and decided to take a look around. No warrant was required as they got consent at the door (Justice would have kicked it down and flashed a badge, if necessary), walked in, and there sits our perp with game controller in hand. It was a quick cuffing after his protest of “it was only one game” was countered by “mucho tiempo” from the residents. He’s currently in holding with a plea deal in the works – it appears it’ll be a one-week sentence with parole pending. The beauty of the operation is that the wire wasn’t even used and still sits in place not even realizing that he’s a part of the sting. That’s good policing.

Bunk just lit a cigar.

No comments: